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HALLOWEEN NEWS


PARISIANS HOOT UP FRENCH HALLOWEEN!

Parisians Love Halloween!PARIS (AP) October 1998 -- Chances are nobody in France dressed up as Monica Lewinsky this Halloween.

The French have taken up Halloween with great enthusiasm, filling shop windows with ghoulish masks and broomsticks, and turning their nightclubs into haunted houses. But it's not Halloween as Americans know it. Parisians, traditionally wary of taking inspiration from the United States, have refashioned the holiday "a la francaise'' -- in French style.

Instead of dressing up as movie characters or real-life celebrities, people in France stick to the basics, like witches and goblins. Stephane Collange, a Parisian accountant invited to an American friend's Halloween party, was surprised to learn how people get decked out in America.

"You mean Americans dress up as anything at all?'' he said. "Then it's just a costume party, it's not really Halloween.''

A few years ago, Halloween was still exotic here, observed only by American students. Then when American bars began offering Halloween festivities, it became part of Paris nightlife. This year, Halloween came fully into the daylight. In bakeries and stores all over Paris, counters have been covered with pumpkins, silky spider webs and ghosts, and children's clothing stores have been full of paraphernalia. Some parents and grandparents grew tired of opening their wallets.

"It's another import from America, another excuse to buy things,'' said Louise Delcher, playing with her four grandchildren in a central Paris park. "Everything has become commercial.''

Indeed, companies said that this year, Halloween was big business. One Parisian newspaper reported that the Halloween market in France increased from $1.8 million last year to $18 million this year.

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